I’ve been working on establishing my bird bath garden over the last couple days. I’ll show you the results soon but I thought I would show you the layout of the garden first. I’ve chosen plants that both the birds and the butterflies will enjoy for their diets. Of course the main reason I selected the plants was I liked them! These plants are generally low maintenance that should look great all through the summer and into our mid-south fall season.
Here’s what you’re looking at:
- The bird bath. Every birdbath garden needs a birdbath right? I put together a copper birdbath onto a 4×4 post from an old wooden palette. I stained the post then hooked the bird bath to the top for a rustic appearance. The copper birdbath was meant for the top of a deck rail but I like using it this way better.
- Zebra Grass. This goes by several names and botanically it is known as Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus.’ It’s a variegated ornamental grass that originally hails from somewhere in China (that’s what sinesis means on the end of a plant name). The seed stalks make great food for the birds in the fall.
- Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’. I can’t say enough good things about salvia. It’s a late spring to summer bloomer that re-blooms through fall if you deadhead it periodically. If you don’t have one you need one, if you have one you need more!
- Butterfly Bush. Also known as Buddleja davidii. This particular plant has bluish to purplish blooms that act as a magnet for butterflies. They grow fast and can take aggressive pruning. The flowers bloom on new wood so give it a trim every now and then to reinvigorate the flowering capabilities of the butterfly bush. In fact hacking it down to a couple feet tall may not be a bad idea each year! They can get very large if you let them go.
- Coreopsis. I don’t know the specific variety of these coreopsis plants since I raised them from collected seed but they have yellow petals with a bright red color toward the center. I’m very pleased with how they have grown. Coreopsis is also known as tickseed.
- Coneflower. Coneflowers or Echinacea are great flowers that will give you more plants if you let them. I think ours are ‘Sunrise’ Echinacea purpurea but any kind would work here. They can be propagated through cuttings if you want to experiment. The birds like the seed heads so if you can stand to leave them be rather than cut them down with your fall prunings, you will make some happy little feathered friends.
- Chrysanthemum. These are some red mums I bought off the discount racks last fall. Mums are perennials here in Tennessee. They require pinching back a few times through the growing season to hold back the blooms for fall. Until then they look like happy little green shrubs.
- Purple Leaf Plum. Prunus cerasifera is nice for it’s showy spring flowers and its dark purple foliage.
- Iris. These are purple bearded irises that provide us with some mid to late spring color.
- Birdfeeders. If your design is for the birds you should have a bird feeder! We have a shepherd’s hook with two feeder hanging from it. Don’t plant anything under a birdfeeder. The seeds that drop from it will sprout. I have our feeders over the grass so that I won’t have to weed the unwanted sunflowers out of the garden beds.
There are many other plant combinations you could do to make a birdbath garden. Just make sure that the flowers will provide seeds for fall or winter and the birds will like it!